Liposuction is a surgical procedure designed to selectively eliminate localized areas of excess fat around the body. Also referred to as liposculpture, this popular body enhancement option can benefit individuals seeking to contour their physique through precise and targeted fat removal. Many pockets of fat around the body are resistant to diet and exercise, creating frustration for people unable to see the results of their toning efforts come to fruition. For these problem areas, liposuction can be a solution to eliminate stubborn fat and achieve the desired aesthetic outcome.
As an effective method of selective fat reduction, liposuction can be performed on many different areas of the body, including the abdomen, arms, thighs, and flanks, among others. Board-certified plastic surgeon Geoffrey Leber, MD achieves beautiful and natural-looking results with the liposuction procedure at his Boston practice by working with patients to develop a personalized treatment plan designed to meet their unique needs.
Who is a Candidate for Liposuction?
While liposuction can sculpt the body for a more defined figure, this is not a procedure intended for weight loss. The best candidates for surgery are at or near their ideal weight, with localized areas of fat accumulation. The most successful results often come from patients with good skin elasticity—this means that the skin has the ability to contract and tighten once excess fat has been removed. Other considerations for liposuction may include:
- You are in relatively good health to undergo surgery
- You have no medical conditions that may jeopardize a successful healing process
- You have minimal scarring and stretch marks in the treated areas
- You have a body mass index (BMI) that is less than 35
These factors can all affect an optimal procedural outcome. During a consultation, Dr. Leber will review your medical history, ask about your desires and expectations for surgery, and examine your skin tissue anatomy to assess whether liposuction can fulfill your goals. For individuals with poor skin elasticity and lax musculature in their abdominal region in addition to excess fat, a liposuction combined with a tummy tuck procedure may be more ideal to simultaneously remove excess fat and tighten sagging skin and muscles. This combination surgery can also achieve beautiful results for a leaner and more youthful body appearance.
What Areas Can Be Treated with Liposuction?
Liposuction can be used to sculpt virtually any region with localized pockets of fat, with some of the most common treatment sites including:
- Flanks, or “love handles”
- Upper back
- “Bra rolls”
- Upper arms
- Inner thighs
Depending on your concerns and anatomical indicators, liposuction is capable of reducing up to 80 percent of fat in a given area. During your consultation, Dr. Leber will discuss the best approach to safely remove an optimal amount of fat within the context of your cosmetic goals. When performing liposuction, Dr. Leber uses his aesthetic training to create a smooth, beautiful contour that looks like it was achieved naturally.
Liposuction vs. Tummy Tuck
Liposuction and tummy tuck surgery are both popular and effective body contouring techniques to shape the abdominal region for a slimmer, more sculpted physique. While they are often performed in combination with each other to achieve the utmost rejuvenation, liposuction and abdominoplasty address different concerns as lone procedures. Liposuction is solely designed for fat removal in regions of the body prone to the accumulation of fatty deposits, such as the abdomen, arms, thighs, flanks, and hips. Since the procedure does not address excess skin, many patients with poor skin elasticity opt to combine their liposuction with a tummy tuck. Also referred to as abdominoplasty, tummy tuck surgery can not only remove redundant fat, but the procedure is also intended to tighten loose skin as well as separated abdominal muscles. This can improve the look of a hanging or protruding abdomen, and is a treatment plan commonly pursued by individuals who have undergone pregnancy or massive weight loss. If you are unsure whether you would benefit most from liposuction, tummy tuck surgery, or both methods of body sculpting, Dr. Leber can make a recommendation after assessing your concerns in a consultation.
How Does Liposuction Work?
There are a number of techniques used in the liposuction procedure, each with their own respective differences and advantages. The various approaches used in liposuction may include:
- Suction-Assisted Liposuction (SAL)— a standard method of liposuction that utilizes tiny incisions to suction out excess fatty tissue in targeted areas of the body.
- Tumescent Liposuction— gently suctions out excess fat to create an even contour. A solution of medications designed to minimize blood loss is administered to the treated areas with the goal of decreased swelling and a smoother recovery.
- Power-Assisted Liposuction (PAL)— utilizes rapid vibrations to disrupt fat cells for gentle and efficient removal. Fat can typically be removed faster using this approach, potentially resulting in a speedier recovery period relative to other techniques.
- Laser-Assisted Liposuction (LAL)— utilizes advanced laser technology to break down fat cells for easier removal. This technique is known to benefit individuals with more skin laxity, as it stimulates collagen production and skin contraction following surgery.
- Ultrasound-Assisted Liposuction (UAL)— utilizes sonic energy in complement to other liposuction techniques to liquefy fat cells for easier removal. This method is often effective for removing fat from fibrous areas of the body, and can minimize blood loss during the procedure.
Each technique is designed to achieve exceptional results that appear natural. Dr. Leber has extensive experience performing every type of liposuction and can determine the most optimal method of fat removal according to your unique needs.
Below are a few cases from our extensive gallery, click here to view more.
What is Recovery From Liposuction Like?
Following surgery, patients may be asked to wear a compression garment in order to minimize swelling and bruising in the treated areas. Any residual swelling and bruising generally diminishes as recovery progresses. Discomfort can be managed with oral pain medication. Many individuals require at least one week of healing time before they return to work and normal activities; however, the length of recovery varies according to how many areas were treated and other details of a patient’s unique treatment plan. The results of liposuction are immediately apparent, but typically improve as swelling dissipates. Patients generally notice a more contoured, slimmer, and sleeker look in the treated area. Dr. Leber’s refined techniques can make any residual scarring as minimal as possible. The final cosmetic outcome usually unfolds in the weeks following the procedure.
How Long Does Liposuction Last?
Liposuction is designed to permanently remove fat cells, which do not “regrow” or regenerate after they are gone. Therefore, liposuction often achieves long-lasting results that endure indefinitely provided that patients subscribe to a healthy lifestyle. Through maintenance of a healthy body weight and exercise regimen, liposuction can create a long-term body contour. Our before-and-after photo gallery showcases a number of beautiful results from individuals who were able to achieve their goals with liposuction performed by Dr. Leber.
How Much Does Liposuction Cost?
Liposuction costs usually depend on the size and location of the treated area(s), as well as the extent of fat removal desired. On average, the price ranges between $2,000 and $3,500 per treatment site, but your personalized cost estimate will depend on the type of liposuction pursued and your unique needs. We will provide a full breakdown of your estimated liposuction expenses, along with your payment options, after your consultation with Dr. Leber. We accept plastic surgery financing from CareCredit® and Prosper® Healthcare Lending for qualified patients who prefer to pay for their treatment in smaller installments. In our experience, the low- to no-interest payment plans from these healthcare lending companies can accommodate virtually any budget. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our office if you have any questions or concerns about how to apply, or for more information regarding the cost of liposuction.
For more information about liposuction, or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Leber, please contact our Boston-area practice today.